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Central America/Mexico Migration News Brief for July 5, 2017

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A compilation of recent top articles and reports related to issues of U.S. immigration and enforcement policy and migration from Central America and Mexico (articles in English and Spanish). Please feel free to send us recommendations or requests for upcoming news briefs: lfolkerts@lawg.org.

Source: Wikimedia Commons


U.S. Immigration Enforcement
 
Two Anti-Immigrant Bills Attacking Sanctuary Cities and Criminalizing Immigrants Passed by the House
Joshua Breisblatt, Immigration Impact, June 30, 2017
“The House of Representatives passed two harsh immigration enforcement bills this week, both of which had the adamant backing of President Trump … The ‘No Sanctuary for Criminals Act’ attempts to coerce states and localities to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement … “Kate’s Law” would expand the already severe penalties for those who are convicted of the crime of “illegal reentry.”
 
Republicanos aprueban paquete de leyes antiinmigrantes
Animal Político, 29 de junio de 2017
“Los legisladores republicanos en la Cámara de Representantes aprobaron un paquete de medidas antiinmigrantes que fijan castigos mayores contra indocumentados reincidentes y cortan los fondos para las llamadas ‘ciudades santuario’ que rechacen cooperar con autoridades federales”.
 
Trump Administration Targets Parents Who Paid to Smuggle Children into US
Franco Ordonez, The Monitor, June 29, 2017
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have begun sharing information with immigration agents about U.S.-based relatives of unaccompanied children. The information is being used to track down the parents, according to lawyers and government case workers…”

Trump ordena detener a familiares de niños que migran solos a EUA
Amanda Hernández, La Prensa Gráfica, 1 de julio de 2017
“El gobierno del presidente Donald Trump ha dado órdenes para que las autoridades comiencen a arrestar a los padres y demás personas que hayan pagado a contrabandistas para traer a sus hijos a Estados Unidos, una medida que ha estremecido a las comunidades inmigrantes del país.”
 
Refugees In U.S.: Trump Will Have Lowest Total Number Of Needy Immigrants Entering The Nation In 10 Years
Josh Lowe, Newsweek, July 3, 2017
“Nearly three months are left in the government’s fiscal year, but authorities will soon hit a cap on the number of refugees allowed into the nation under a contentious Trump administration policy. This week, the U.S. will likely accept a total of 50,000 refugees for the fiscal year, USA Today reported Monday. The ceiling was set by President Donald Trump as part of his multi-pronged plan to curtail immigration. It would mark the lowest total number of refugees allowed into the U.S. in a decade.”
 
Central Americans, ‘Scared of What’s Happening’ in U.S., Stay Put
Kirk Semple, The New York Times, July 3, 2017
“While some of Mr. Trump’s most ambitious plans to tighten the border are still a long way off, particularly his campaign pledge to build a massive wall, his hard-line approach to immigration already seems to have led to sharp declines in the flow of migrants from Central America bound for the United States.”
 
Families Fearing Deportation Because Of Trump’s Immigration Policies Prepare For ICE Raid
Mizue Aizeki, Newsweek, June 28, 2017
“ICE is waging a broad campaign of fear designed to alienate, criminalize, and make immigrants feel as though they are not wanted in their own communities. This rhetoric reflects Donald Trump’s stated hostility toward immigrants, particularly undocumented immigrants and those with criminal convictions.”
 
Desert Aid Camp Turning Away Migrants Following Border Patrol Raid
Kirk Siegler, WPSU, June 28, 2017
“In the sweltering Sonoran Desert along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, a humanitarian group has decided to shut down operations for now at an aid camp for migrants who cross the border and need immediate medical help and water…Aid workers say they can no longer guarantee a temporary shelter for migrants, after U.S. Border Patrol agents raided the camp and made arrests.”
 
DHS espera que prototipos de muro fronterizo estén listos para septiembre
María Peña, La Opinión, 27 de junio de 2017
“Durante una rueda de prensa, el subcomisionado interino de la Oficina de Aduanas y Control de Fronteras (CBP), Ron Vitiello, explicó que en la actualidad el DHS está en la ‘fase 2’ de evaluación de las propuestas para los prototipos o modelos del muro que Trump prometió para la frontera con México.”
 
Will Trump’s New Rules Make it Harder to Get Asylum in the U.S.? That Will Vary Dramatically from One Judge to the Next
Richard Vengroff, The Washington Post, June 27, 2017
“How does someone go about seeking asylum in the United States — and what are the chances of receiving it? On paper, the process is clear. In practice, it varies dramatically from one part of the country to another — and even from one judge to another.”
 
Trump’s Doubtful Claims About a Gang and Mexican Sugar
Linda Qiu, The New York Times, June 29, 2017
“ICE officials testified before Congress last week that the agency had made 602 criminal arrests of MS-13 members, resulting in 153 convictions, and 170 immigration arrests from October 1, 2015, to June 4, 2017. Most of that period predates Mr. Trump’s presidency, and it is unclear how many of those people are United States citizens, who cannot be deported.”
 
Justices Say Fifth Circuit Must Decide Cross-Border Shooting Case
Dan Mccue, Courthouse News, June 26, 2017
“A divided Supreme Court on Monday said the Fifth Circuit must ultimately decide whether the family of a Mexican teen shot dead by a U.S. border agent can sue the agent for damages. The court’s unsigned opinion vacates a previous ruling by an en banc Fifth Circuit and sends the case back to it for further proceedings.”
 
Presenta México en Corte de EU declaración jurada contra Ley SB4
Patricia Muñoz Ríos, La Jornada, 26 de junio de 2017
“El gobierno de México presentó hoy una declaración jurada ante la Corte del Distrito Oeste de Texas en San Antonio, para apoyar la solicitud que hicieron organizaciones de la sociedad civil que piden la suspensión de la entrada en vigor de la ley SB4 de ese estado, la cual abre espacios posibles a actos de discriminación racial y fomenta un ambiente de persecución de los migrantes.”
 
Texas Law on Sanctuary Cities Challenged in Federal Court
Maria Sacchetti, The Washington Post, June 26, 2017
“Texas’s tough new sanctuary-city law was debated in federal court on Monday, with lawyers for several Texas cities calling it draconian and unconstitutional and attorneys representing the state and the Trump administration saying it makes sense to compel jurisdictions to work with federal immigration agents… Now the state has one policy: Cooperate with deportation agents.”
 
Rockville Directs Its Police Officers to Steer Clear of Immigration Enforcement
Bill Turque, The Washington Post, June 21, 2017
“The Rockville City Council has narrowly approved an ordinance restricting police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities or asking residents about citizenship status — a victory for advocates who saw similar measures die in Annapolis and vetoed in Howard County earlier this year.”
 
Manes dice que EUA está abierto a dialogar por solución al TPS
Amanda Hernández, La Prensa Gráfica, 24 de junio de 2017

“La embajadora de Estados Unidos en El Salvador, Jean Manes, dijo ayer que la administración de Donald Trump está abierta al diálogo para encontrar una solución para los 190,000 salvadoreños que tienen un Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS, en inglés) en Estados Unidos.”
 
Mexican Migration Enforcement
 
More Families Fleeing Central America Resettling in Mexico
Christopher Sherman, Associated Press, July 5, 2017
“After Mexico received 3,424 applications for refugee status in 2015, that rose to 8,794 the following year and applications are already outpacing that this year with 5,464 just from January to May. Nearly all are people from the so-called Northern Triangle countries of Central America, where street gangs are largely free to terrorize the population and murder rates are some of the world’s highest outside of open war zones.”
 
‘‘Graves violaciones’’ en San Fernando
Emir Olivares Alonso, La Jornada, 30 de junio de 2017
“En cumplimiento de una sentencia de amparo dictada hace poco más de un mes por la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN), la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) recalificó su conclusión sobre el secuestro y matanza de 72 migrantes en San Fernando, Tamaulipas, que se conoció en agosto de 2010, y subrayó que esos hechos constituyen ‘’violaciones graves’’ a derechos humanos.”
 
Violencia sexual obliga a niños centroamericanos a migrar a México; aquí también abusan de ellos
Ernesto Aroche Aguilar, Animal Político, 28 de junio de 2017
“Una de las formas más comunes de violencia sexual que sufren las mujeres y las niñas durante el tránsito son las relaciones sexuales coaccionadas para sobrevivir, forzadas o coaccionadas con traficantes, policías, agentes de migración u otros migrantes, a cambio de comida, refugio, protección o el derecho a continuar el camino.”
 
INM no resolvió situación de haitianos; “viola sus derechos”
Jessica Xantomila, La Jornada, 29 de junio de 2017
“La situación de los migrantes haitianos varados en Baja California no ha cambiado. A un año de su llegada carecen de alimentos, servicios de salud y alojamiento, e incluso han sido víctimas de abusos sexuales… el gobierno sigue sin reconocer la crisis migratoria que existe con los haitianos, al argumentar que mientras las autoridades señalan que son tres mil 500 los varados, este comité tiene contabilizados 7 mil.”
 
Guatemalan Government Demands that Mexico Respect Migrants’ Human Rights
Elena Toledo, PanAm Post, June 27, 2017
“The Guatemalan government is urging Mexico to respect the human rights of migrants crossing Mexico on their way to their final destination in the United States. Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raúl Morales Moscoso, warned that if Mexico continues violating the guarantees of Guatemalan citizens, they will make a public statement.”
 
Nueva embestida del INM en contra del personal de la 72
La 72––Hogar Para Personas Migrantes, 26 de junio de 2017
“No es desconocido para nadie que nuestro equipo recoge a las personas que vienen en la carretera y les ofrece llevarlas a Tenosique, a La 72 para acogerlas y empezar un acompañamiento integral …. Y hasta ahora las autoridades de los tres niveles de gobierno no solo no han hecho lo que les corresponde sino que criminalizan nuestra labor y peor, utilizan el sistema penal para frenarnos, intimidarnos, acosarnos.”
 
Root Causes
 
Organised Violence is Ravaging Central America and Displacing Thousands
Robert Muggah, The Guardian, June 29, 2017
“The sheer scale of population displacement is breathtaking. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the so-called northern triangle – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – over the past five years. More than 161,000 people from these three countries applied for asylum to the US between 2011-2016. At least 714,000 more are internally displaced.”
 
Towards a Response: Addressing Forced Displacement by Violence in El Salvador
Noah Bullock, Humanitarian Practice Network, June 2017
“In the last two years 11,936 people have been murdered in El Salvador, a country with a population of 6.5 million; an estimated 550,000 left the country because of violence in 2016 alone … Yet the humanitarian consequences of extreme violence, human rights violations and internal and external displacement in the sub-region remain almost invisible to most of the rest of the world.”
 
As El Salvador Increases its Minimum Wage, Big Business Increases the Pressure to Reduce Worker Gains
Danielle Mackey, Equal Times, June 27, 2017
“Since the beginning of this year, the salaries of maquila workers have increased by nearly 40 per cent, from US$211 to US$295 per month… Nevertheless, the wage increase has provoked a strong backlash from what has been described as El Salvador’s ‘rabidly anti-union private sector,’ with business lobbies issuing legal challenges, factories firing workers and other businesses threatening to relocate to countries with cheaper labour costs.”
 
Daughter of Murdered Honduran Activist Survives Armed Attack
Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, July 4, 2017
“The daughter of the murdered Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres has survived an armed attack, just weeks after being named leader of the indigenous rights organisation formerly led by her mother. Bertha Zuñiga, 26, was attacked along with two other members of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (Copinh) as they drove back from a community visit in central Honduras.”
 
Experts Condemn the Attacks and Killings of Environment Defenders in Guatemala
Organization of American States, June 30, 2017
“Defenders of the environment in Guatemala face one the greatest risks worldwide due to their activity in defense of the territory and the environment against large-scale projects that threaten their right to a healthy environment. So far this year, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has received information on at least five attacks against defenders of the environment in the country, including two murders.”
 
Continúa en aumento el número de repatriados con perfil pandillero
Amanda Hernández Moreno, La Prensa Gráfica, 4 de julio de 2017
“Los salvadoreños con perfil de pandilleros que han retornado al país desde México y Estados Unidos ha aumentado de forma remarcable en los últimos meses. De acuerdo con información de la Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME), en seis meses los retornados con estas características ya rebasan a todos los que regresaron en 2016.”
 
Responsabilidad de Estados Unidos en el origen de las pandillas
Mario Zúñiga Núñez, El Faro, 26 de junio de 2017
“La conflictividad interna en Estados Unidos explica el origen de las pandillas de El Salvador. El contexto cultural de grandes ciudades que por más de un siglo han marginado a los nuevos inmigrantes … explica el origen de grupos como La Mara Salvatrucha y la Barrio 18. El endurecimiento de las leyes contra inmigrantes después de los atentados de Oklahoma y el World Trade Center aceleró la exportación del problema al territorio salvadoreño.”
 
What Trump Doesn’t Understand About MS-13
J. Weston Phippen, The Atlantic, June 26, 2017
“MS-13’s activities appear to have become more aggressive in some states recently, but Trump’s understanding of the gang also seems limited to headlines… What he omits is that MS-13 in the U.S operates like most other domestic gangs, and that law enforcement in cities where MS-13 has recently doubled homicide rates don’t see the gang as a problem that deportations can solve.”
 
Development Takes a Back Seat in Trump’s Central America Policy
Laura Weiss, World Politics Review, June 27, 2017
“In 2014, over 70,000 unaccompanied minors from the Northern Triangle sought asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border over the course of just three months … The Obama administration increased U.S. assistance to Mexico to secure its own southern border to deter further emigration to the United States. This deterrence strategy resulted in a 70 percent increase in deportations from Mexico, as well as a spike in abuses committed against migrants in transit, according to Daniella Burgi-Palomino, a senior associate at the Latin American Working Group in Washington.”
 
A Deep Dive Into the Trump Cuts for Latin America
Victoria Gaytan and William Naylor, Latin America Goes Global, June 22, 2017
“The 2018 Trump administration’s budget proposal calls for significant cuts to development assistance … Latin America isn’t spared; some of the region’s poorest and most unstable countries—Nicaragua, Paraguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Jamaica—may see their development assistance cut completely. In all, total aid to Latin America and the Caribbean would be slashed by 36 percent.”
 
The Trump Whisperer: Marco Rubio Has the President’s Ear on Latin America
Alex Daugherty, Miami Herald, June 26, 2017
“In March, [Marco Rubio] said it would be difficult to protect the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Haiti from possible cuts in U.S. foreign aid if they voted against Venezuelan sanctions at the Organization of American States.”
 
Mexico to Ask FBI for Help in Journalist Spying Probe
AFP, June 27, 2017

“The Mexican attorney general’s office said it would ask the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for help probing allegations that the government spied on journalists and activists. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has been under pressure to launch an independent investigation since charges were filed last week by a group of leading reporters, human rights activists and anti-corruption campaigners claiming that his government used highly invasive spyware against them.”
 
Reporter’s Body Found in Mexico, Marking Seventh Journalist Murder This Year
David Agren, The Guardian, June 26, 2017
“The body of a missing Mexican reporter has been found in the western state of Michoacán, bringing to seven the number of journalists murdered in the country this year. Salvador Adame, director of the local television station 6TV, was abducted 18 May in the city of Nueva Italia… Over the past decade, Michoacán has seen horrific levels of violence between organized crime groups and the security forces.”
 
65 mexicanos pierden la vida en 24 horas, sólo en ocho estados y hasta donde se puede contar
Sin Embargo, 1 de julio de 2017

“El número de ejecuciones registradas en el país en los últimos días podrían contradecir lo dicho por el Gobierno mexicano. Tan sólo en las últimas 24 horas, 65 personas han muerto en enfrentamientos entre grupos del crimen organizado con fuerzas de seguridad y por posible ajuste de cuentas.”
 
Buried Truth: A Look at Mass Graves in Mexico
Victoria Dittmar, InSight Crime, June 30, 2017

“Despite the alarming discovery of mass graves like Colinas de Santa Fe, some state governments have occasionally referred to them as isolated incidents or have taken a stance of denial.”
 
Se desata violencia
El Diario, 30 de junio de 2017

“Un total de 31 personas fueron acribilladas en los últimos dos días en la ciudad [Juarez], 21 murieron y 10 resultaron lesionadas… La ola de ejecuciones encendió la alerta en la ciudad y organismos exigen a las autoridades poner freno a la violencia.”
 
El horror en Allende, Coahuila
María Elena Morera, Animal Político, 28 de junio de 2017

“En marzo de 2011, hombres armados del cártel de Los Zetas, uno de los más brutales y sanguinarios de que se tiene registro, irrumpieron en Allende, municipio de Coahuila, ubicado en la región fronteriza de México con Estados Unidos, a unos kilómetros de Texas. Sin nadie que pudiera ni intentara detenerlos, secuestraron y ejecutaron a decenas de personas, organizaron saqueos masivos e incendiaron y destruyeron viviendas… Por años, la tragedia quedó en el silencio y el olvido.”
 
Criminal Gangs Kill 11 in Mexico’s Veracruz State
Reuters, June 25, 2017

“Eleven people were killed in Mexico’s Veracruz state by criminal gangs on Saturday, including four children and the head of the state’s federal police and two other federal police officers, Governor Miguel Angel Yunes said. Veracruz is home to rival drug cartels including the Zetas and Jalisco New Generation, or CJNG, which are fighting over drug trafficking turf.”
 
Actions, Reports, and Resources
 
Women’s Refugee Commission Responds to ICE Raids Apprehending Undocumented Sponsors of Unaccompanied Children
Women’s Refugee Commission, June 30, 2017

“Yesterday, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) confirmed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is conducting raids targeting parents and other sponsors of unaccompanied migrant children. WRC stands firmly against these cruel and morally outrageous actions which are also bad policy. The affected sponsors — parents, family members, guardians — care and provide for children while they wait for their asylum claims to be heard, helping them overcome trauma and covering the costs associated with their care.”
 
Know Your Rights Information on ICE Raids for Parents, Community, Attorneys
Kids in Need of Defense, June 29, 2017

“The below is a collection of Know Your Rights resources to help prepare parents, community members, and attorneys on ICE raids on the sponsors of unaccompanied children.”
 
Immigration and Crime: Assessing a Contentious Issue
Graham C. Ousey and Charis E. Kubrin, Annual Review of Criminology, June 22, 2017

“Are immigration and crime related? This review addresses this question in order to build a deeper understanding of the immigration-crime relationship…Findings indicate that, overall, the immigration-crime association is negative—but very weak.”
 
Facing Walls: USA and Mexico’s Violations of the Rights of Asylum-Seekers
Amnesty International, June 2017

“This briefing examines the implications of US President Donald Trump’s Executive Order of 25 January 2017…which not only called for the construction of a wall, but also ordered measures that will affect thousands of vulnerable people, many of whom have no choice but to flee their countries to save their lives.”
 
WOLA Report: Mexico’s Southern Border
Adam Isacson, Maureen Meyer and Hannah Smith, WOLA, June 29, 2017

“Mexico recorded fewer apprehensions in the first four months of 2017. Still, migration enforcement remains steady, and crimes against migrants in transit continue unabated… [The Southern Border Program] purported to protect migrants’ rights and regulate Central American migration. It resulted in a dramatic increase in security operations, increasing apprehensions of northbound migrants by 85 percent during its first two years.”
 
Dying for a Story: How Impunity and Violence against Mexican Journalists are Weakening the Country
The Wilson Center Mexico Institute and WOLA, June 28, 2017
“In my country, those who exercise freedom of expression have to face an environment that automatically puts them in disadvantage with their adversary [the government]. The press has to face an enemy that searches at all costs to exert an effective control over the information that reaches society.”
 
Trafficking in Persons Report
U.S. Department of State, June 2017

“ Official complicity continued to be a serious and largely unaddressed problem [in Mexico]. The government identified fewer victims and provided limited specialized services for identified trafficking victims. Shelters remained inadequate compared to the scale of the problem and victim services were unavailable in much of the country, leaving many reported victims vulnerable to re-trafficking.” 


The Central America/Mexico Migration News Brief is a selection of relevant news articles, all of which do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Latin America Working Group.
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